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Reducing Food Wastage

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When OzHarvest began 17 years ago, there was little talk about the disastrous economic, social and environmental effects of food waste. Over the years, people outside the industry have become more aware of these effects, and in 2015 the Australian government committed to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 12.3 – to halve food waste by 2030. However, with just 9 years left to achieve this goal the clock is ticking, and urgent action is required.

Both food production and food waste have a huge impact on the environment, responsible for 38% (combined) global greenhouse gas emissions.

Every year, Australia wastes 7.3 million tonnes of food at a staggering cost of $20 billion to the economy. This waste comes equally from three areas: farms, industry and households.

The reasons for wastage along the supply chain are vast and complex and makes solving this problem no easy task. The bottom line is that wasting food wastes everything – including precious resources such as water,  land, energy and fuel used in food production, packaging and distribution.

Both food production and food waste have a huge impact on the environment, responsible for 38% (combined) global greenhouse gas emissions. Making food a major contributor to climate change.

But there is good news! Scientists from ‘Project Drawdown’ identified reducing food waste as the third most effective way to reverse climate change. So why isn’t more being done to tackle Australia’s food waste crisis? Change is required at every point of the food journey, from farms to industry
and within the home.

Both the hospitality industry and food businesses have a major role to play – in fact, two-thirds of the world’s 50 largest food companies have already set food waste reduction targets and introduced programs to accelerate action. Bold action and leadership from more food businesses could make a huge difference and speed us towards achieving the 2030 goal.

There are also huge benefits to businesses to reduce food waste, including increase efficiencies and cost savings made by reducing waste management costs. With many new innovations and technology startups to create solutions to address this goal, there are many options to get started. This is where organisations like clubs and catering companies can really step up. Donating surplus food to OzHarvest is always welcome, but without a regular and consistent supply, it can be difficult to organise pick ups every time. Instead,
investing in technology like Winnow, which helps chefs measure, monitor and
dramatically reduce food waste by giving them the information necessary to drive change within their organisation, can have a far more positive effect
in reducing food waste.

This pioneering measurement and analytics tool allows commercial kitchens to understand the volume and financial value of the food waste generated
within their business, providing insight to make immediate impactful changes – saving businesses up to 70% of food waste and positively impact
their bottom-line. There is still a long way to go but collective action will bring
Australia closer to halving food waste and protecting our planet.

Click here for more information.

For other articles relating to Food and Beverage please click here to view CCV Autumn 2021 Hub – Food and Beverage Edition

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